Thursday, April 18, 2013
Woodson named Coach of the Month
By Jared Zwerling
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Mike Woodson has been named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month, the NBA announced on Thursday.
It was the first time a Knicks coach was recognized for the honor since Pat Riley in March 1994.
Woodson led the Knicks to an 8-2 record in April, tied for the most wins in the month with the Heat, the top team in the Eastern Conference. In addition, the Knicks beat four East playoff teams -- the Heat, Pacers, Hawks (twice) and Bucks -- and finished the season 54-28. It was the first time they surpassed the 50-win mark since 1999-2000.
"I think guys are excited," Woodson said after Thursday's practice. "This is a fun time of the year. We put so much work into the summer development program that we had, getting ready for [veteran's] camp, and it's been long, grueling regular season. It's been a roller coaster, but we've maintained and held in there as a team. We put ourselves in the best position possible ... Now the playoffs are here. We played to have home-court advantage throughout the first two rounds, and it starts Saturday, so we have to defend our court."
"Last year, we were assembled late, we were assembled in a lockout season and we had to get to learn each other," he said. "I had never played with [Carmelo Anthony] and Amar'e [Stoudemire], and then we just put all these pieces together. Now to have gone through a great year and have the cast that we have, this is a confident team."
Raymond Felton now gets his first crack at making a deep playoff run in New York. He was traded to Denver in Feb. 2011, as part of the Melo blockbuster deal, and he didn't get a chance that season.
"I look forward to it," he said. "I never wanted to leave the first time, so to have the opportunity to come back and have a successful season that we had, to be able to go out there for that first playoff game, it's going to be amazing for sure."
WELCOME BACK!: Patrick Ewing, who appeared as an MSG Network analyst for two games in late March, will return for Game 2's postgame coverage.
NO ACTORS ALLOWED: The NBA has announced its anti-flopping disciplinary schedule for the postseason. The fines for Violations 1 through 4 are $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 and $30,000, respectively. If a player violates the rule five times or more, he will be subject to discipline, including an increased fine and/or suspension.
The anti-flopping rule, initiated this season, had 24 violations, and 14 players received warnings and five players received a $5,000 fine for violating the rule twice.